Books are regarded more important than arms, says Karunanidhi

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Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi honouring Telugu writer Aburi Chayadevi
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi honouring Telugu writer Aburi Chayadevi

Special Correspondent

Chief Minister declares open the 12-day-long Chennai Book Fair

CHENNAI: The State is experiencing a rejuvenation of giving greater importance to books in the last few years, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Wednesday.

Declaring open the 12-day-long Chennai Book Fair organised by the Booksellers’ and Publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI) on the grounds of St. George Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School here, Mr. Karunanidhi said that world over, books and libraries were regarded more important than arms.

Pointing out that he had been a writer for nearly 70 years, the Chief Minister said he derived greater pleasure when his writings received commendation compared to praises heaped on him for governance.

Recalling his observation a few weeks ago that he would like to step aside from the positions of power and politics to get closer to people, Mr. Karunanidhi said he was yearning for the day when he sat alongside Jayakanthan, Vairamuthu, K.P. Aravanan and V.M. Sethuraman to observe the proceedings of literary meetings.

He gave away the Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi Porkizhi award to S.V. Subramanian, Tamil writer, Erode Thamizhanban, poet, Ar. Alagappan, dramatist, K. Chinnappa Bharati, short story writer, Aburi Chayadevi, Telugu writer, and S.N. Kandasamy, writer.

He regretted that a book, which was given the award last year or the year before, dealt with the history of Chennai exhaustively but did not make a mention of C.N. Annadurai becoming Chief Minister in 1967 or his (Mr Karunanidhi) becoming Chief Minister in 1969 or 1971 or 1996.

There was no reference to him even on the issue of the change of name of the city from Madras to Chennai.

The awards instituted by the association were also given to O.R. Suresh and V. Subbiah, representatives of the publishing industry, N. Dharamarajan, translator, Kuzha. Kadiresan, children’s books writer, and M. Muthusamy, librarian. Thangam Thennarasu, School Education Minister, said the government, in the last three years, purchased books at a cost of about Rs. 33 crore for libraries. Sethu. Chockalingam, president of the BAPASI, appealed to the Chief Minister to provide the ‘Kalaimamani’ title to publishers too. A housing scheme should be framed for the publishing industry on the lines of a scheme for the film industry employees. Nalli Kuppusamy Chetty, industrialist, spoke.

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